Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Templar's Apprentice by Kat Black

This book is the first in The Book of Tormod series, and I gave it a rating of four out of five. The setting begins in Scotland, in 1307, and moves throughout areas of Europe. Tormod is the son of a farmer but ends up delivering a message for a Templar. Templars are specially-trained soldiers for the pope and have vowed to protect the weak and the church. Tormod delivers the message but is drawn into a conflict between King Phillipe of France and the church. He reunites with Templar Alexander, and they travel together to protect a small carving with enormous power from getting into enemy hands. Their quest is to deliver the carving to its original, secret hiding place. Tormod discovers he has the power to foresee future events, and Templar Alexander informs him that he has additional powers that have not yet been realized. The quest to deliver the carving takes them over seas, through mountains, and into strange lands. All the while, King Phillipe's mercenaries keep popping up to capture them.

The conflict is pretty clear for an adventure novel, and action scenes are provided throughout most of the plot. Tormod has the internal conflict of dealing with his visions and the fears that are within him. He learns to master his powers as the story moves along, and they come in very handy. I found the early part of the story required a great deal of concentration and the use of my inferencing skills. The author wrote Tormod's speech in old English with a strong Scottish accent. This was very noticeable to me, although I didn't seem to think about it as much as the book went along. I'm not sure if I got used to it or if the dialogue was written more clearly. The visions also took some getting used to, because they popped up without warning and occurred fairly frequently.

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